It is ironic that HRH and his team face Blackburn tonight the only club that ended up sacking him. The question is whether we are now looking at number two?
If Hodgson or anyone else thought that Saturday’s Bolton win would calm things down and end the speculation they were wrong. The papers remain full of predictions about what the owners might do. Some have even gone as far as to draw up a list of possible replacements.
If you think about this surely none of these will be available until the summer at the earliest? There are more but let’s take two from the list many of the papers have featured Didier Deschamps of Marseille and ¬Jürgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund. Neither manager will want, or be allowed, to leave their respective clubs because well, quite frankly, they have more to play for this season than us! Marseille are still in the Champions League and are three points off the top of the French league and Dortmund, as I write, are ten points ahead in the German League!
Reading between the lines it appears that HRH will be given more time. It is convenient to point the finger at him and accuse him being the sole cause of our current situation. He hasn’t helped on the pitch but neither have the players and to suggest that replacing him would be a cure for all our problems is naive. We might see an improvement but it would only be papering over the cracks? HRH is decent and honest man (too honest and too forthright at times) the players say they are still behind him so giving him at least a year in the post is fair. As mentioned before we are a patient club and not the sort to throw toys out of the pram when they’ve just been unwrapped.
I guess the predicament that owners have now is whether or not to let HRH have some leeway in the January window. Will they give him the opportunity to get the players in he feels he needs or simply bide their time see want happens for the remainder of the season and review everything again the summer. If they do this they risk HRH saying he had a thankless task because he wasn’t given the support in January, will they give him enough rope (expensive rope) and run the risk of him hanging himself? It’s difficult line to tread?
HRH s keen even though his position isn’t one of strength and even though it’s the January window, meaning there won’t be much on offer..
“I will get a chance to stamp a little bit more of my authority and philo¬sophy on the team by choosing some more of the players. I have not been that active in the transfer market since I’ve been here. The players are the ones you have watched playing for the past few years”
I am wondering just what HRH means by saying that he hasn’t been active in the market since he joined us. Weren’t the signings of Konchesky, Meireles and Cole his, which, based on performances so far and if I’m being cruel, would give the owners even more reason for not allowing HRH to enter the market!
One wonders just what role Damien Comolli is playing in all this? He’s been very quiet since he joined but perhaps this window we will see the first green shoots of his football strategy policy appearing – whatever that is? I’m not holding my breath, signing top quality players will not happen in January come to think of it we might have to work hard to attract them in the summer! All in all interesting and probably exasperating times ahead however did anyone really expect everything to fall easily into place and everything to be turned around quickly after we got rid of Statler and Waldorf?
Anyway to tonight and Blackburn at their place. My, how things move on, it took us about a year or so to realise that Statler and Waldorf were bad for us but, after only a few months, we hear cries of, and I paraphrase, “chicken farmers out” from the Ewood Park stands. Will Blackburn fans be won round if they sign Ronaldinho or are they more canny than that and think the whole idea is just a publicity stunt in the first place?
Team wise we look like being without Meireles who went off early against Bolton. However, presumably it will “as you where” unless HRH feels like finding a spot for Joe Cole in the hope that he can build on any confidence his winner might have given him on Saturday?
Prediction? The BBC website tells us HRH has won just two of six matches as a manager against his former club and has failed to win on any his three visits to Ewood Park. We have only won two out of our last eighteen away games. So it’s got to be a win for us hasn’t it – 2-1?